(KCPW News) Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker is asking the public to take a "leap of faith" with him and be more patient when it comes to his proposal to put a public safety building on or near Library Square. In a letter addressed to the city council this week, he said he unveiled his proposal to the public as early as he possibly could. He told KCPW the process for selecting potential sites was kept private because it involved sensitive real estate negotiations.
"It's complicated by the fact that the city's involved in a real estate transaction," he said. "We are looking at trying to find a site, acquire land, and there are very few exceptions that I can think of, certainly anything in my time, anything I've been involved, where those actual real estate transactions are done as a proprietary matter for the city."
But Becker also said the public input process can definitely improve for next time, and that he's committed to involvement from citizens in the project.
The mayor has been criticized for only presenting city residents with two options for the public safety building: one directly on Library Square, and one directly to the East of it. But Becker insists these proposals were vetted by the elected representatives on the city council.
"We reviewed probably a good dozen options in the vicinity of our city properties, our city buildings now in downtown, and looked at various sites, and in that discussion with the council, settled on this 3rd East corridor," said Becker.
After holding public meetings, Mayor Becker will ask the city council to place a proposal for the public safety building on the ballot this November.
Public meeting schedule:
Saturday, May 30, 2009
9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Civic Campus Master Plan Workshop
Salt Lake City Main Library
210 East 400 South
Salt Lake City, Utah
Monday, June 1, 2009
Salt Lake City Police Department Pioneer Precinct
1040 West 700 South
Salt Lake City, Utah
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
City Council Public Hearing (Tentative)
Salt Lake City & County Building
City Council Chambers
451 South State Street
Salt Lake City
Listen to a conversation with Becker from Politics Up Close.